SaberCats Back On the Prowl
NFL lockout stories have caused the return of the Bay Area’s most successful professional football team—over the past decade—to fly a bit under the radar. Following a two-year hiatus, the San Jose SaberCats are back on the mini-gridiron in the revamped Arena Football League. The SaberCats were a model franchise up until a work stoppage in 2009, when the league filed for bankruptcy. The problems were so severe they make the current NFL labor dispute between owners and players look like rich siblings fighting over the keys to a red Ferrari while a green one sits in the garage. With a new business model in place, the SaberCats are an outfit better prepared for the long haul. But they haven’t completely changed their stripes. Some familiar faces return in head coach Darren Arbet and quarterback Mark Grieb, who were part of three ArenaBowl championship teams. Winning a 76-48 season opener against the defending AFL champs, the Spokane Shock, San Jose welcomes the Kansas City Command (0-1) to HP Pavilion at 7:30pm Friday.

Home Ice for Sharks Playoff Push
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, every game counts from now until the playoffs. The Sharks will be at home for the next three games, starting Thursday at 7:30pm against the Minnesota Wild. On Saturday at the same start time, the St. Louis Blues will do their best to slow down Los Tiburones (© Mark Purdy). With San Jose currently sitting in third place in the Western Conference standings, the Sharks seem to be in excellent position to take a home-ice advantage into the first round of the postseason. Once the club gets back on the road, only eight regular season games will remain on the schedule, half of which will be at home. After that, anything can happen.

Earthquakes Ready To Get Shaking
It’s Wondo’s world and we’re all just living in it. Who’s Wondo? Only one Chris Wondolowski, a 28-year-old Danville native and Major League Soccer’s Golden Boot winner last season—the award is given to the league’s top player. A striker with superb touch, Wondo scored 19 goals in 32 appearances last season while leading the Earthquakes to their first playoff appearance since coming back to San Jose in 2008. Facing Real Salt Lake at 7:30pm Saturday at Buck Shaw Stadium, tickets are reasonably priced as the team waits for its new stadium to be completed two years from now. If fans need an additional push to get out to the pitch, the Earthquakes, aware of their namesake, will be donating $1 to the Red Cross in Japan and the Pacific Rim for every fan who attends the match.